I-way’s Grassroots Model Gets National Recognition

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Idaho is often recognized nationally as a great place to live, to work, to raise a family – with people from around the country moving here to enjoy the quality-of-life our beautiful state offers. This week, the CTAA recognized Idaho for something we’ve not typically been known for – innovation in how we are approaching our pubic transportation and mobility issues – as a result of I-way’s local coordination process.

The article, Mirror Images of Mobility appeared in the November 10 digital issue of CTAA’s Community Transportation Magazine. Rich Sampson highlights the similarities between the way Idaho and our “mirror image” (geographically speaking) sister-state, New Hampshire, are addressing the timeworn challenges of mobility and transportation in states of our size, population and geography – through locally driven decision making.

Sampson also notes that while the boundaries of Idaho and New Hampshire reflect one another, “they’re fundamentally similar to every other state in that each is a collection of neighborhoods, communities and regions, each with their own important nuances, challenges and attributes.” What does that mean? It means that other states are watching what we’re doing here in Idaho, through I-way. We’re paving the path for other states to follow and create their own models for improving mobility and public transportation services and efficiencies for the people living in their communities.

That’s very exciting! It demonstrates that through all of the work and trial and error, we are on the right path. It’s not easy work – and we’re a long way from realizing I-way’s vision of a truly multi-modal system that connects virtually the entire state. But, together, through I-way’s local coordination process, we are having an impact.

I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done so far. I’m excited about what the future holds for mobility in Idaho. And, I hope that all of you will continue with us along the journey.

- Heather Wheeler, Executive Director, CTAI